This trip is a bit of a whirlwind but it is about to slow down for a few days and I will probably be offline for a few days. Today I walked through many parts of Paris. I began with the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, to which my grandmother had a strong devotion.
There is something about the blue and white chapel that instills peace. Knowing that Mary appeared here to St. Catherine Laboure may have infused the building with sacredness but something greater washed over me as I participated in mass. My grandmother gave me my first miraculous medal just prior to a major surgery I was going to have at age 21. I did wear it for the longest time and then never have again. Still something drew me here. My grandmother was a remarkable woman with a steadfast prayer life. If ever any family member could grant a miracle, she could.
Holding my family very much in my heart today, I prayed that St. Catherine might intercede for our needs. Then I felt moved to pray for the poor and those in need. Our world is pretty messed up at the moment. On the flight to Paris I read a 7-day journal of someone in Palestine right now. I could have wept for the images he painted at the horrors happening there. The people of Ukraine too are suffering. Memories of what I had learned in Germany and what I have seen around this globe convince me I must pray for peace.
St. Catherine knew the sufferings of people well and was moved to assist people. She had a heart of compassion and mercy. Paris has surprised me with the number of beggars now. I don’t remember that from my other visits. They sit outside the Chapel and other tourist attractions. This morning in the subway, a man held his young son, silent, only a cup in front of him to show his plight.
I must pray for peace and for a transformation of my soul. I am not sure what God has planned for me in these two weeks but I do know that God is faithful. May I be as well.